Today’s Headlines: Nonprofit that leads organ recovery in SoCal could be jeopardized by poor rankings

Using a stethoscope, Marco Garcia, left, listens to his son's heart beating inside Alyssa Sauls' chest
Using a stethoscope and comforted by his wife and son, Marco Garcia, left, listens to his son’s transplanted heart beating inside Alyssa Sauls’ chest at OneLegacy in June in Azusa.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
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Hello, it’s Friday, July 21, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


SoCal organ donation recovery group could be at risk from low rankings. OneLegacy has repeatedly ranked among the lowest performers based on its “donation rate,” one of two metrics used by the federal government to gauge how effective organ procurement organizations are at their lifesaving work.

If OneLegacy continues to lag in the government metrics, it could lose its longtime position managing organ procurement across seven counties in Southern California.


E. coli hammers a California town. One week into the E. coli crisis, it’s almost impossible to find anyone in Burney — an unincorporated lumber and tourist town of just over 3,000 residents near the Instagram-famous Burney Falls — who doesn’t know about the problem. Everyone is struggling to get through their days without potable water as the local water district works to treat the source of the problem.

It is yet another example of the vulnerability of rural California’s water systems. Many of the state’s failing water systems are in the Central Valley, where water is drawn from wells that are contaminated with nitrates, or that have run dry because of years of drought and overpumping of groundwater.

In the war over transgender rights, a woman fights in DeSantis’ Florida. The American battle over transgender rights has focused on minors and their access to puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries. Florida, along with 19 other Republican-led states, banned those treatments for people under 18. But it went a step further than most by also targeting transgender adults.

As a transgender woman in a state where the governor declared war on “transgender ideology,” Violet Rin felt her image of Florida as an idyll fading. She became a near recluse, doubtful that much outside was worth the risks. Then she got a message from the clinic where she obtained her estrogen prescriptions.


A smiling woman helps a customer at a store
Maria Menjivar, the owner of Las Palmitas Mini Market in downtown Los Angeles, helps a customer after learning that her store sold a Powerball ticket worth $1.08 billion.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

On the edge of Skid Row, someone just won a $1-billion Powerball jackpot. As word spread across the largely immigrant-run shops in the Fashion District, thrilled that someone in their neighborhood could suddenly be so rich, there was a giddy excitement in the air.



Facing shutdown, this shelter feared worst for 80 dogs and cats. They just got a second chance. Soon after Paw Works moved into its new 8,000-square-foot shelter in Oxnard last year, Ventura County officials said it lacked the proper permits and needed to shut down immediately.

Low-income DWP customers’ bills are about to rise. What help is available? A judge has thrown out the surcharge on Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bills that was used to subsidize low-income customers.

Larry Pryor, former Times journalist and USC professor, dies at 86. Pryor was a reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times who led some of the paper’s earliest experiments in digital journalism before moving on to full-time teaching.

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Tupac killing: Vegas PD seize bullet cartridges, computers, photos from gang member who was in shooter’s car. Vegas police investigating Tupac Shakur’s slaying seized bullet cartridges, computers and photos from the home of a gang member who was in the shooter’s car.

France struggles to confront one of its biggest taboos: race. Urban France is racially diverse. But, technically, French laws and institutions don’t see race. The aversion traces itself to the French ideal of “universalism,” which says national identity trumps all other identities.


An American soldier’s dash into North Korea leaves family members wondering why. Relatives of the U.S. soldier who sprinted across North Korea’s border say he may have felt overwhelmed by legal woes and a possible military discharge.


How the movie ‘Sound of Freedom’ became part of the culture wars. With a controversial star, a subject conspiracy theorists love and a sensational box-office take, “Sound of Freedom” couldn’t help but stir up a fight.

How pop culture and climate anxiety have galvanized a new generation of clay artists. As contemporary artists continue to push the possibilities of ceramic art, they are utilizing the medium’s connection to nature, time and chemistry to explore both global and personal narratives.

9,000 authors rebuke AI companies, saying they exploited books as ‘food’ for chatbots. The Authors Guild says generative AI threatens writers’ professions by “flooding the market with mediocre, machine-written books, stories, and journalism based on our work.”

Jason Aldean’s ‘Try This in a Small Town’ is shameful. Naturally, it’s the right’s song of the summer. In a tweet on Tuesday he denied that “Try That in a Small Town” had anything to do with lynching and that the song “refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief.”

These projects, including a Mel Gibson movie, can keep filming amid the SAG-AFTRA strike. Waivers give SAG-AFTRA members the ability to work on these productions without violating the strike or crossing picket lines, the union said in its strike rules.



Forget Tesla. Mercedes is betting $45 billion it can become the king of luxury EVs. To take the spot of undisputed leader in luxury EVs, Mercedes has to nail both form and function — an increasingly complicated and expensive endeavor with the industry’s headlong push into autonomous driving.

Netflix adds 5.9 million subscribers. Ted Sarandos says strike ‘not an outcome that we wanted.’ Netflix saw a significant boost in new customers, thanks to its crackdown on password-sharing in more than 100 countries including the U.S., as well as its advertising-supported tier.


In the wake of a national tragedy, New Zealand scores a historic women’s World Cup win. The Women’s World Cup opened with pomp despite the circumstances Thursday, kicking off less than 12 hours after a mass shooting in Auckland’s scenic harbor district.

Did heat wave trigger double-figure scoring outburst by Dodgers and 11 other teams? For the first time this season, six MLB players each hit two home runs on the same day. Maybe the tipping point was the record heat wave across the country.

Column: Pro tennis is back in L.A. with a fast-paced format, new rules and rowdy fans. Creator Patrick Mouratoglou, the Frenchman who coached Serena Williams for a decade, isn’t trying to replace what he calls “classical” tennis. He wants to shake off stuffy traditions and create “a disruptive tour which really aims to seduce the new generation.”

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‘Oppenheimer’ is here. Is Hollywood still afraid of the truth about the atomic bomb? In 1945, Hollywood set in motion its first big-budget movie drama about the making and use of the atomic bomb. Almost immediately a competing project emerged. Yet for over seven decades, only two other major movie dramas about this epochal event emerged from a studio. Until now.

Trump could soon be indicted for Jan. 6. There’s more than enough evidence to convict him. “While Trump, like all defendants, is legally entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, we believe the special counsel has more than enough evidence to win convictions on such charges,” Noah Bookbinder and Norm Eisen write.


collage of photos of Solvang, CA with a windmill in the center
(Los Angeles Times photo collage, photos by SolvangUSA, John Elk/Getty Images, Deborah Chadsey, Kate Noelle, Bri Burkett, Lena Britt )

13 delightful things to do in Solvang, the Danish fairy tale town with plenty of ‘hygge.’ Stroll through Solvang, Calif., the largest town in the Santa Ynez Valley, and you could almost believe you’re in Denmark, or a Disney-esque version of it.

The best mariscos, sushi and seafood restaurants in L.A. from the 101 guide. From high-end Japanese to classic East Coast-style seafood houses, here are some of the best options for eating seafood in L.A. this weekend.

10 of our critic’s favorite San Diego restaurants to visit during Comic-Con and beyond. Tacos, burgers, seafood, coffee and finer-dining options are plentiful in “America’s Finest City.”



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Americans Want to Fly More Than Ever — and It’s a Crisis. In America the urge to fly has never been stronger and yet the misery involved has never been greater, the prices have never been higher and, in coach, the seats are far too small. The Daily Beast

‘We’re truly not valued’: In New Orleans, Black mothers are increasingly the victims of gun violence. What’s happening in New Orleans is an amplified example of a nationwide trend: Black women are being killed at alarming rates, and their children are being left behind to deal with the lasting effects of loss and the devaluation of their mothers’ lives. The 19th

Stop trying to have the perfect vacation. You’re ruining everyone else’s. What’s embarrassing is the obsession with getting everything right, with the spreadsheets and the research and the taking of the thousandth photo, followed by the pouting because the bar was too crowded or the emotional unleashing on a service worker because your train got canceled due to a railway labor strike. Vox


Three teenagers looking up
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are shown in a scene from “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.”
(Warner Bros. Pictures / Associated Press)

On July 21, 2007, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” — the final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series — was released.


Writers from The Times chronicled what the experience was like across the globe as Harry Potter fans gathered for midnight bashes to celebrate the release.

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